Circus Campaign: Colchester/Clacton
Tuesday 24th July 2012 to Saturday 4th AugustDetails from http://www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=336
The Great British Circus is the only circus still touring the country with big cats. As well as tigers and lion cubs, they probably have zebras, llamas, horses, pygmy goats, camels.
Whilst we are all aware that there is a pledge to ban circuses with animals next year it is not a reality yet - legislation still has to go through Parliament. We still need to keep up our campaigning and keep the pressure on. Sadly the Great British Circus is with us again in Colchester and Clacton.
Ph: Jane: 0794 148 3719. .
The most important thing you can probably do is to write to Guy Smith, the farmer who rents his land to the circus.|
Guy Smith should be held accountable for his actions - how can he condone this cruelty!
Please take a few minutes to write to him at:
Wigboro Wick Farm
Wigboro Wick Lane
Clacton - on -Sea
Essex CO16 8ER
THE NOT SO 'GREAT BRITISH CIRCUS' DEMONSTRATIONS
This disgusting circus is once again gracing our area with its presence please try and attend the following demonstrations, it is imperative that we come out in force and get the message across that this circus is not welcome in the county and should be banned once and for all.
RSPCA says: "Boycott the circus"
RSPCA Circus FAQ's here.
This is one of only around 8 UK-based circuses using animals. However, that's 8 too many! We can't rely upon weak legislation to ban the use of animals in circuses. The Animal Welfare Bill (in its present form) is not proposing to ban this evil industry and will do little to protect any animal used. It's up to people like you to make a difference, by convincing others not to visit these mobile prisons and make them completely unprofitable and untenable.
Circus criticised for misleading leaflet
Evening Gazette report, 25th May 2006
A CIRCUS currently in Colchester has been criticised for suggesting that the RSPCA had inspected and approved the show.
The Great British Circus, one of only three still touring the country with animals, was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for a "misleading" leaflet.
The RSPCA, which has long campaigned against animals in circuses, had complained about an advert which showed two performers giving a thumbs up sign above the words "This circus has been RSPCA inspected".The circus is at London Ringmaster Martin Lacey said that since 1976 he has allowed the RSPCA to inspect his animals, and in that time they have "found no cause for complaint".
RSPCA spokesman David Bowles said: "To imply that we endorse or approve such outdated entertainment, when in fact we have significant concerns for the welfare of circus animals, is misleading in the extreme," he said.
Angry protest before circus
from (Essex) Evening Gazette, May 11, 2005
Animal rights activists staged angry protests as the circus came to town.
Campaigners heckled families as they arrived at the opening performance of the Great British Circus in Stanway.
Circus chiefs called in the police but the demonstration passed off peacefully.
Protesters were demonstrating against the use of animals, including tigers, llamas and zebras, in the show.
The award-winning Great British Circus is one of only a handful of UK shows still using animals in its acts.
Ringmaster and animal trainer Martin Lacey said he has received death threats in the past from militant extremists.
He insisted the show would go on despite calls from the RSPCA for it to be banned.
"They have been inspecting circuses for 150 years and managed only five prosecutions. That's something we should be shouting from the rooftops - it's a record to be proud of," he told the Gazette.
Mr Lacey added: "Everyone is telling us we are great but there is a small minority who choose to ignore this."
Demonstrators cried "Shame" as circus-goers arrived at the site on London Road.
The protesters also handed out leaflets urging people to boycott the shows.
Valerie Oliver, of Colchester, said: "It's a shame people think it's still OK to be entertained by animals."
The 480-seater big top was less than half full for the opening night.
Police were 'over the top' at circus protest
Senior councillor wants use of animals to stop
By Ted Jeory, East Anglia Daily Times
A SENIOR councillor has criticised the police for acting "over the top" at an animal rights protest against a circus.
Tim Young, leader of the Colchester Borough Council Labour group, claimed he and about 18 fellow peaceful demonstrators had been prevented from fully voicing their opinions at a protest against the Great British Circus in Stanway.
However, a Colchester police boss has defended his officers, saying he is "happy" with how they handled the potentially difficult situation.
Eight officers, in full emergency response mode, were despatched to the London Road site on Tuesday night after bosses at the Great British Circus claimed there had been a "disturbance".
Mr Young was there with Labour county councillor, Richard Bourne, and others, including women and children, to demonstrate against the use of tigers, llamas and zebras in the circus acts.
He said he was "surprised" by the sudden arrival of three squad cars with flashing lights and sirens sounding and described the police's response as "over enthusiastic".
The officers, fearful of a breach of the peace, confronted the protesters, warning them against handing out RSPCA leaflets and using a megaphone.
Mr Young said he tried to contact chief superintendent Dave Murthwaite at Colchester police to complain, but before he could speak to him, a sergeant arrived and the situation improved.
"Everything was completely peaceful. We were saying it was immoral to use animals in circuses and telling people about the conditions they're kept in while on the road. But then the police arrived. It all seemed over the top. When the sergeant arrived, he was very reasonable and allowed us to leaflet again."
Garry Sheen, of Essex Animal Freedom, which will stage another protest tomorrow, said: " I like to think we have a good relationship with Essex Police and I've even written to the chief constable in the past, praising the professionalism of officers at circus protests. But I believe what happened on Tuesday was heavy-handed. It was ridiculous to stop us using the megaphone - the music in the circus was much louder."
However, Chief Supt Murthwaite said: "Because of the nature of the call we received on Tuesday night, there seemed to us to be the potential for a difficult situation. A judgement has to be made on the initial call. We knew there was going to be a protest and it was a very sensitive situation. In the end, we reduced our presence there. I'm happy the way we handled it.
"I have no problems with the circus officials calling us if they are genuinely fearful something might happen."
The Great British Circus is one of only a handful that continues to use animals in its acts despite condemnation from the RSPCA, which claims animals can suffer during frequent transportation.
The circus could not be contacted for a comment yesterday, but ringmaster, Martin Lacey, has previously denied accusations of animal cruelty, insisting the circus is "educational".
Gazette News report 27th July 2007: Clacton: Boycott call over circus animal acts.
Suffolk and Essex forum (possible broken link)
Nottingham campaign against Great British Circus (including artwork for placards) at: http://www.veggies.org.uk/nar/circus.htm
Captive Animals Protection Society -:- Animal Defenders
Keep track of the Great British Circus
Circus Campaign Info